Apartments and holiday accommodation near Leicester Square, London
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Leicester Square underground station is used by many people heading for central London and the West End. Around these areas are busy streets full of shops, department stores, theatres, cinemas, pubs, restaurants and clubs. The green patch of grass in the centre of Leicester Square is unremarkable and sometimes overlooked - although it provides a place for tired people to sit and rest. Busts of Hogarth, Reynolds, Hunter and Newton adorn each corner, with a statue of William Shakespeare taking pride of place at the centre.
Large expensive cinemas dominate Leicester Square and are surrounded by a plethora of places to eat - many of these are chains of the Burger King, Pizza Hut type, although there are one or two individual restaurants down the side streets leading from the square.
Chinatown is close to Leicester Square and is an interesting place to stroll even if you're not planning to eat a Chinese meal. The flattened crispy duck and other strange ingredients hang on display in the windows. A small Chinese market is held on certain days where you can find Chinese vegetables, herbs and spices for sale.
Thai noodle bars are generally good value places to eat, especially if compared with some of the restaurants in Soho. Another place you may wish to note is Questo (Telephone: 020 7 287 5681) in Romilly Street, just off of Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road.
Leicester Square is usually seething with people until the early hours of the morning, many just passing through or meeting friends at one of the pavement cafes. Buskers and street performers entertain the crowds, especially during the summer months. There's always a buzz and something happening.
Here as in several other central London locations you can purchase half price tickets for London's musicals and theatre productions. Many of these are for the matinees of well-established productions which you have to view the same day of purchase, but the seats can be very good and represent excellent value for money. There are plenty of money exchange places if you wish to convert your cash to Sterling.
Public toilets can often be a problem in London. There are several of the automated 'space' type cubicles where you pay 20p to enter, and live in fear that the doors will suddenly open and reveal you enthroned in all your glory, but otherwise it's a case of using the toilets in the pubs and department stores. The best public toilets in London are situated to the side of the entertainment area in Covent Garden. These award winning loos are pristine, lovingly cared for, and free. Hang on if you can.
The tourist centre of London is very well sign posted and it's easy to get from one locality to another, either by using the underground system, or if you don't mind walking, on foot.
From Leicester Square, it's a short walk or train ride to Shaftesbury Avenue (theatreland), Picadilly Circus (where tourists hang out with Eros), Soho (traditionally sex shows, shops and posh nosh) or Trafalgar Square (art galleries, fountains and pigeons).
Self-catering in London
Self-catering in West London in Brentford, near Twickenham and Kew Gardens
The Bush Houseboat, moored beside Kew Gardens in west London is perfect self-catering holiday accommodation for anyone visiting London for a short or longer break.
The 3 bedroom newly refurbished houseboat can sleep 4 adults and a child.
Telephone 020 8 892 7241
Self catering accommodation is a cost effective way of visiting London, especially for larger groups or families. You have a comfortable 'home from home' with privacy and space and the freedom to either cook for yourself or go out to eat where and when you prefer.
Find more cottages, flats or apartments, houses, houseboats and other accommodation in and around London using the Feature Pages menu on the right. Bordering counties are Berkshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, and Middlesex (north and north west London) from which it is easy although sometimes expensive to travel into London.
Check train fares into London by calling 08457 484950.